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Extension of the communication relationships with the virtual reality

Dr. Emiliano Bruni, info/at/ebruni_dot_it

Last modification: 1995/02/20

Copyright © 1995  - Emiliano Bruni



In this tesina, written for a course of the Department Limbs Music and Show of the university of Bologna, one analyzes to the evolution of means of interfacciamento between man and machine in the last cinquant' years from the punch cards to the virtual reality where beyond to the possible interaction between the man and the computer the possibility of a new comunicativo instrument between more individuals is born that extend the eventual barriers that the real world interposes to such communication.


In the last cinquant' years the necessity from part of the man is being always asserted more to increase its cognitive and perceptive abilities. In multiple fields of science and the technology it was joints to a stall situation in which the theoretical models they were arrives you to a such degree of complexity to be of all the unusable ones.

E' in this context that becomes part the birth of the calculating that thanks to its multiple abilities to grinder-numbers has allowed to exceed such situation. But the uses of the computer have gone very al.di.là.dell' aseptic computazionale job having dischiuso the doors of a new world whose borders are very more wide of our real world.

The interaction between the man and this world has been gone gradually affinando. At first the separation was clean in as far as the machine came delegated the single tasks of computazione of the problem while the operations of input and output of the data passed for ways of the all distaccate ones from the problem and needed of an ulterior additional job.

The main problem was that the two realitys, that real of the operator and that artificial one of the calculating, clearly was separated and not there was some common place where to exchange information but they they came managed or through a modification of the topology of the calculating, that it constituted of fact a construction of a various computer for every detailed list application, or through the use of true punch cards that they were the equivalent of and own missive between the calculating and the operator.

Even if with the advent of the monitor and the keyboard the situation improves a lot, the two worlds continues to being separates to you. The realization of a point of encounter between the two worlds is had with the advent of the mouse. It represents our projection in the world of the calculating and while we perceive the calculating through the monitor it perceives we through the gunlayer associated to the mouse.

With the mouse, to it enables of the simulation computer, comes added the interaction characteristic. The parameters from the inside of the same simulation can that is be modified, while before it was necessary to exit and to rieditare the parameters manually. Obvious E' that this new ability turns out very more natural and much more correspondent to our daily gestures.

To a sure point it becomes this partial one "immersione' ' in the world of the calculating not more satisfactory. If it is desired to increase the channel of interaction between individual and computer it must replace the bidimensional space constituted from the monitor with a virtual three-dimensional space and to the frecciolina of mouse a new having gunlayer the same degrees of freedom that has our hand in the real world that is one associated virtual hand to entire the our hand.

With the technology nowadays available the best creation than a three-dimensional space comes generated through a helmet that like the blinders of the horses us stranger from the real world in order to dip to us in those virtual and from two display places dinanzi eyes that, tricking the sight, produce the virtual world.

The tracking device comes instead created through uses it of an sensitive glove to several the movements of the hand of the operator in the space.

Some difficultly realizable necessary conditions to our days exist but without which the immersion and the interaction in this virtual world do not appear satisfactory.

Before between all the necessity of a "real Time mode' ' that is a modification in real time of the synchronized virtual world with the gestures of the operating condition that comes only put into effect through it I use of more and more fast computers. A correspondence interlaced between the positions must exist head - hand in the real world and that virtual one and finally, not necessary condition for the creation of the virtual but necessary world for a real involvement of the individual in it, the realization of a device of feed - back retroactive so that also in the virtual world it is worth the relation second which two objects cannot occupy the same place at the same time.

The attempt of immersion in a generated virtual world from the concentrated calculating e' to the day today on its rappresentazione through stereoscopiche three-dimensional images in how much, for the man, appearing turns out more important of the being. Examples in such sense come to us from the constant strafing from part of the mass - medium that use the equation to appear equal to be in the most various contexts.

In the publicity the relationship between the product comes completely stravolto and its I use in order to leave the place images that to times are not absolutely in relation with the object that comes pubblicizzato.

The same selection, from part of a consumer, a produced data comes entrusted to the sense of the sight, it never does not happen to enter in a supermarket and to begin to open the products in order to taste them to the search of more consono to just the taste. The choice comes instead made based on the confection.

Here therefore a case in which a sense, the taste, it comes totally replaced, at least in the context begins them, to an other, the sight, without that the consumer of is aware. All that which had to the predominant aspect essentially that has the sight regarding the other senses in the perception of the external world.

We observe that the virtual term used previously has an ambiguous character semantically. In all its symbolic rappresentazioni the man has always realized virtual worlds above all with the mathematical language it has been able porsi to outside of the physical capacity of its body describing existing realitys not physically, creating of fact a virtual world. He can himself after all be asserted that the virtual reality, as today it agrees, turns out to be most real between the virtual realitys generated from the man.

An ulterior distinction goes made between virtual reality as it means it Sutherland and artificial reality as it means it Krueger. While before, as it says the same word, it wants to be one faithful transposition of the real world in a digital universe them, second the not bound one to our reality and reported to the realization of a universe in which vigono new laws and new "shapes viventi' '.

Never like in our century to a single individual be given the possibility to know and to know. The three fundamental means with which put into effect the increase of the horizons associate - cultural of the person they are: the television, the telephone and the book.

Page of the De rerum nature of Lucrezio
captured from a situated Internet

In fact, remaining comfortably seated in seat, war in direct can be assisted to one in an other continent, to speak with friends you mail the other head of the world or to read to the "De rerum natura' ' of Lucrezio.

Today, these three means are in order to become obsolete half for being replaced from only a large one: the computer.

It allows the fusion of the three verbos to know, to communicate and to amuse in an only verbo: to interact.

We are to the thresholds of was in which every type of information and communication will travel in digital shape them on world-wide net and anyone will be able to approach to you. The same information will catch up the apex of the comprensibilità evolvendosi from monomediali to multimediali.

Ports like example the most ancient shape than written communication that then also before that is evolvendo in such sense: the book. Already today they are found in commerce migliaia of works not more on cartaceo support but contained on floppy disks read from computer.

I use of this new support more allows the modifications varied in order to help the understanding of the text. To single words or entire paragraphs they can be associated ulterior written which translations, bibliographical critics or references but also, what more important, images or sounds.

The individual transforms itself therefore from passive in traveller in how much such reader new support allows to penetrate in the text and to travel between the several logons that it proposes. In order to emphasize such shining property of these "new libri' ' they they come commonly calls to you" ipertesti' '.

The next object that will endure the modification from passive system to interactive system will be the television. With the interactive TV the spectator will be in a position to personally managing the palimpsest of the own programs of way that is come to create of fact an own television characterizes them.

left the last communication for in how much it the only thing that has endured for hour a regresso between old and new shape, but that one that promises the maximum evolution. The regresso about which it is spoken it depends on the fact that in its digital version them it still tied to the action of writing.

The shape of interpersonal message electronic, the e-mail or also evolute chat more electronic, are yes an evolution regarding the usual letter mail them but they are obviously a regresso regarding the telephone in the measure in which the oral communication it is to the written communication.

But the perspectives that offer to the total nets and the new technologies in the within of the virtual reality are beyond every imagination. In a next or remote future that is will wear one tactile coveralls and an biocular visore in order to catch up a agora virtual, a place generated from the computer in which meeting virtual shapes correspondents to other single customers of the net. It will be able to be conversed therefore with other individuals like if these they were really of forehead to we, while in reality distant are even migliaia than kilometers.

But obviously the net, the cybertuta, and an adapted software of computer not only allows to converse but also to interact with the others cybernauti. As an example two architects, one to New York and an other to Los Angeles, can meet themselves to the inside of they plan and discuss from about within the modifications bringing. Essential what that such modifications can be realized in native place therefore that everyone of the two can see the result of the modification.

Example of hypertext with map

The virtual reality increases the dialectic abilities to the individual in as far as its linguistica ability joins the expressive ability to the entire body and carried to the ends cause the fall of every linguistica barrier. Neuro emitters connects to you with the regions of our brain will allow in the virtual dimension the communication without use of the language. The concepts generate to you from my brain directly will come interpret to you from the brain of my interlocutor without having to pass through one codify linguistica.

Therefore as the barriers of the language will fall also the barriers of the psico handicaps - physicists. Persons with physical disablements in the reality will find again their integrity in the virtual one, while, those with mental handicaps will have giovamento from the studies on the activities celebrate them.

An example of as the technology can mentally help being worth persons with physical handicaps but Stephen Hawking, eminent scientist and greatest physicist of our time, than, paraplegico sin from birth, succeeds to communicate through computer and vocal sintetizzatore.

That the artificial reality could be used not solo like instrument of communication between the man and the computer but also like instrument of communication between more individuals was experienced initially from And W. Krueger. With its first experiment the "GLOWFLOW' ' tried to realize a reactive atmosphere in which more individuals they could interact with it, the answer of the public to such experience was much positive one, sign that the artificial reality was really a place with interactive potentialities a lot very immenser than how much it could be imagined to us.

The experiments of Krueger leave therefore from the cited "GLOWFLOW' '  to the" METAPLAY' ' in which the interaction between single individual is studied and computer in order to reach finally the "VIDEOPLACE' ' in which the communication between two is attempted or more individuals with the computer like means of logon between they.

An other reason for which innovating Krueger and this, like all the innovators, be endured very understood and very appreciated that its attempt of immersion of the man in an artificial reality did not preview I do not use it of apparatuses to wear. The bottom idea was that the artificial reality had to attract the man without for other imporgli the annoyance of having to wear objects ad hoc.

Having to make one chosen between which of the two technologies it is best a sure arduous task that that one of the apparatuses to wear the only one that has the possibility to implement the feed - back retroactive.

Up to now spoken in way much separating of as the virtual reality and in a generalized manner the new technologies of total communication is an enormous step ahead for the interpersonal communication. That that is wanted to be made hour to realize such concepts carrying examples not a lot of virtual reality but of "Internet working' ' that it constitutes the freeways data transmissions on which the future utilizzatori of the virtual world will travel: the cybernauti.

The net on which I will develop my examples "INTERNET' obviously ', a world-wide net in fast expansion that nowadays connects a ten of million computers scattered on all the globe. As such it represents the greatest date - base that is the greatest existing collection than given to the world. In it the disparate things are contained more: from the divine one commedia to Japanese prescriptions, from images weather in real time to collections of games.

The back of the medal that the so wide size of information not to allow an immediate location of the single information. The better way in order to find the information necessary would be that one to be annoying to the inside of the same net letting to transport from the flow of the data and this which the cybernauti will make of the future. Instead today navigation happens through hypertexts that guide the customer to the wished information.

Home page of the website of the city of Bologne

The same information and the way in which it is reached to you have characteristics of all the analogous ones to those cited over as far as the multimediali books with the positive difference of the enormous size of raggiungibili data.

INTERNET turns out moreover the better place than obtainable encounter; never the freedom of press and word be therefore free. In the net in fact national borders do not exist and the ideas are in it free from every constriction. E' for this reason it be wide used in the recent conflicts which the invasion of the Kuwait and the successive war in the gulf, the fall of the communist empire and the tragedy jugoslava in order to communicate to the rest of the world the uneasiness of the population and the soprusi of which it she was victim.

With the aim to simplify the relationships between city public administration and the net is being used in order to facilitate the communication between these two entities from always separated from an abyss. Same the common one of Bologna has inserted an entire range of useful information to the citizen that it can be caught up being connected to INTERNET. They are available between the other beyond to news of general interest on the city information on the management of the common one as, as an example, the reports of the communal councils.

Aligning itself moreover to numerous other cities in the Bologna world it has made available beyond to a digital version them of "tuttocittà' ' also a multimediale collection of the works and of the written ones more it celebrates contained in the museums and the libraries of the common one.

By now more necessary one not to travel with the aim to visit new places, with INTERNET possible to see museums, extensions and places particularly evocative places in every seated part of the world remaining comfortably of forehead to finishes them.

Using the net possible to expose the art to an immensest public and for whom while for the old works their transposition in digital shape is being operated them more and more contemporary artists they prefer to use the computer like instrument for the creation of their works, of an example prof. the Echo that is using CD - ROM like support for its last book.

Obviously the successive step goes very beyond the simple translation of the work in multimediale shape, but total modification of the art concept involves one. While until today the art be a communication channel univoco between the artist and the spectator it will be in future a channel in which the artist modification decides shared but the public to "eseguire' ' the work under the direction of the computer that the work following the shared one.

The art comes therefore to lose its shape of only and irripetibile action in order to modify itself interacting with the spectator who comes smarrire the passivity character in order to actively enter to make part of the genesis of the work.

When in 1946 the American government gave the way to the construction of the ENIAC, first electronic calculating of was modern, never nobody could have intuire how many hidden worlds could be hides behind those enormous full closets of luminous valves electron-beams to you. Today those valves do not exist if like cimeli historical but the world that they have allowed to generate it is not in order to cross the embryonic state and the imagination wavers to the thought of as it could be from large.


  • Myron Krueger, Real and virtual, Milan, Feltrinelli, 1992
  • Pier Luigi Capucci, Reality of the virtale, Bologna, Clueb, 1993
  • Pier Luigi Capucci, the technological body, Bologna, Baskerville, 1994
  • Howard Rheingold, the virtual reality, Bologna, Baskerville, 1993
  • MCMicrocomputer, Technimedia, Rome
  • URL of the city of Bologna, situated Internet (
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